Mainstream Superhero Cinematic Slate Until 2020


(Marvel) Avengers: Age of Ultron – 05/01/15
(Fox) Fantastic Four – 06/19/15
(Marvel) Ant-Man – 07/17/15

(DC) Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – 03/25/16
(Marvel) Captain America: Civil War – 05/06/16
(Fox) X-Men: Apocalypse – 05/27/16
(Paramount) TMNT 2 – 06/03/2016
(DC) Suicide Squad – 08/05/16
(Marvel) Doctor Strange – 11/04/16
(Sony) Sinister Six – (TBA 2016)

(Fox) The Wolverine 2 – 03/03/17
(Marvel) Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – 05/05/2017
(DC) Wonder Woman – 06/23/17
(Fox) Fantastic Four 2 – 07/14/17
(Marvel) Thor: Ragnarok – 07/28/17
(Marvel) Black Panther – 11/03/17
(DC) Justice League – 11/17/17
(Sony) Amazing Spider-Woman – (TBA 2017)

(DC) The Flash – 03/23/18
(Marvel) Avengers: Infinity War: Part I – 05/04/18
(Marvel) Captain Marvel – 07/06/18
Untitled Fox Film – 07/13/18
(DC) Aquaman – 07/27/18
(Marvel) Inhumans – 11/02/18
(Sony) Amazing Spider-Man 3 – (TBA 2018)

(DC) Shazam – 04/05/19
(Marvel) Avengers: Infinity War: Part II – 05/03/19
(DC) Justice League 2 – 06/14/19
(Sony) ASM: Venom Carnage – (TBA 2019?)

(DC) Cyborg – 04/03/20
(DC) Green Lantern – 06/19/20

The years for the DC films have been announced and WB has announced dates, this is the assumed pairing.Marvel Studios has now tied DC for the largest single announcement of multiple films in history, with the asterisk that DC included undated stand alone films for Superman & Batman and Marvel suggested Phase 4 films on the horizon.  In 2017 and 2018, three Marvel Studios films a year are expected.

If the calendar remains as above, it appears the DC and Marvel have given each other wide berth.  The closest films between the two are Black Panther followed by Justice League Part I.  Fox’s 2018 film has only two weeks before Aquaman.  If DC finds that Suicide Squad’s August slot to be desirable, the stand alone Superman and Batman films may close out the Summer movie season comfortably with this calendar.  December is reserved for the Star Wars franchise.

Another point of friction could between the conclusions of Avengers and Justice League, respectively.  Despite being over a month apart, the size of those event films may result in overlapping marketing.

A few other reactions: 2016 begins with two heroes-in-conflict films, followed by lower tier characters with two villain-lead films.  2017 brings us the first female lead superhero film of this era of shared universes and the first minority lead solo superhero film.  There may be some overlap in themes and setting between the Wonder Woman debut and the third Thor film.  2018 is a year with new tertiary characters testing their mettle, perhaps as a breather for the event-laden 2019.

While a rising tide raises all boats and the success for one genre film inspires audiences to want to watch other genre films… this is a lot of films.  The average American sees only 2 to 3 films in the theater a year!  While I’ve seen every mainstream comic book film to date, I think the sheer quantity of these films mean I’m not going to be able to catch every one in theater.  When people start to have to start making choices about what they consume to the exclusion of other media, they start to justify their choices, and when people start to justify their choices, we get fan wars… worse than we already have now.  Just take a deep breath and remember that the internet troll attempting to start a flame war in 2020… may well have been eight years old today.

Don’t forget to be awesome.

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